April 7, 2014

Zara

The 3rd richest man in the world at $64 billion is Amancio Ortega, a low-key Spaniard who owns the lady's clothing brand and retail outlet Zara. I understand how you can get really rich owning Facebook or DOS or most of the the telephone business in Mexico. But how great of a businessman do you have to be to get insanely rich in moderately priced women's clothes? Is there a more competitive business on Earth? What are the defensible barriers to entry? I could see getting rich in clothes if you could trademark, say, blue, and be the only guy allowed to sell blue clothes. Even I could make money doing that. But what's his secret?
  

72 comments:

DR said...

Here's a HBS Case Study on Zara

http://www.slideshare.net/koffman/zara-case-study-2780928

The biggest cost, both in money and effort, to clothing retailing is marketing. It eats into your margin and you have to constantly push it to keep demand at any reasonable level to cover your fixed costs.

Zara completely turns the model on its head. Instead of being "marketing push" based its "demand pull" based. That is it maintains a highly nimble supply chain that allows it to quickly stock whatever is currently in style. Other retailers that have a season or longer turn around time must aggressively market their styles. Zara can just respond to the styles people want.

Amancio Ortega is most similar to Sam Walton in this regard. The basis for his fortune is being a supply chain genius.

LemmusLemmus said...

I'm no expert in the clothing retail sector, but my understanding is as follws.

Zara uses an original idea that, strangely, no one has copied yet. Zara does no advertising to speak of, but signals high value of its products by (i) the look of their stores and (ii) the location of the stores. Apparently, Zara's location strategy is to get as close to upmarket brand stores as possible, while theirs is to get as far away from Zara as possible. You might call it a parasite strategy.

Anonymous said...

Image wise, they've hit a bit of a sweet spot. The clothe are good, and it's a bit like a more upmarket version of Primark. It's highly mobile and responsive in what it can get out into the shops - which also creates a "buy now" necessity, in that if you don't buy it now, there's a good chance it'll be gone in a few days.

It's more upmarket than Primark, though, and as such is less associated with the working classes - there are unlikely to be jeremiads about its labour/environmental practices in the paper if the right on upper middle class lady columnists shop there religiously. The clothes are quieter and tend to be made in Spain, which helps even if no one admits it. (I don't know about the demographics of their manufacturing workforce.)

Basically, it has most of the economic benefits of the cheaper brands, but with considerably better control of the image. The clothes are quieter and not associated with teenagers, like Topshop is, meaning that the older ladies (the ones with money) wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen there or found wearing the goods. They're considered classy and Yoo-rup-eee-uhn. (Which is a big deal in the British Isles.)

That's something you can see in the fact that they sizing has remained resolutely small. There's no vanity sizing. The difference between, say, a Zara XS and what passes for it in other brands is stark, and everyone here knows about the connections between class and size. It's conspicuous consumption for women who disdain the working classes.

Anonymous said...

"But how great of a businessman do you have to be to get insanely rich in moderately priced women's clothes?"

They say that you can get rich in everything. I have no idea if that is true. But there is a Swede that got pretty rich with furniture stores.

Grey Enlightenment said...

If you own/founded 1/3 of a company and the company is worth $100+ billion you will be very rich. That's how the math works out. Mandy mundane businesses are worth billions.

If he were to drop dead how much would his successor be worth? much much less. Being the founder and first CEO is how you get rich.

Simon in London said...

"You might call it a parasite strategy."

Employing European workers - his own nation's workers - so he can respond quickly to demand - to make reasonably priced clothes that people want. Selling them in nice shops in nice locations.

What a bastard.

Simon in London said...

Seriously, so much manufacturing has gone to China, it has opened up a huge gap in the market. Manufacturing in China means you save a lot on manufacture, but a response time of months at least.

Manufacture locally, you spend more on manufacture, but can respond in days not months. You can also fix quality control problems far faster.

Save enough on advertising through the pull-strategy and you can beat the opposition on fashionableness, on price, and on quality.

I think Zara's particular genius is to focus on excellent quality relative to price, rather than the usual domestic-manufactured quality brand strategy of very high price supported by marketing. From the consumer perspective this makes them the white knights - and it's nice to see the good guy prosper for once (compare eg Carlos Slim, whose strategy is entirely parasitical, or the more common Facebook strategy of providing something good but in return sucking every possible drop of blood from the consumer).

Anonymous said...

So he is the Guderian of Frocks?

Anonymous said...

Yes, like Walmart its all about supply chain management. Fastest from design to in the shops. Like Ikea its also low cost disposable items, keep your style fresh.

Anonymous said...

The large mall near where I live in the UK has a Zara outlet, and it is near the 'posh' (as many might say in the UK) shops and thus signals its 'quality' by having a clean and bright look with accessible racks of clothes for customers to look through.

Primark, perhaps a rival in terms of prices is located in the 'cheap' end of the mall and its rows of clothes are uncomfortably packed and more to the point, clothes are often on the floor where 'customers' have let them slide off hangers or tables. The impression Primark gives is that no one cares if the stuff you may want to buy is under other people's feet. That may not be true of what the management says should happen but the image of Primark is the store is anything but classy.

I hate to say it, but I don't like to be seen near some of the people who are dropping clothes on the floor at Primark.

So, when it comes to 'selling' an image there are some things you don't want to be associated with. I think Zara avoids sending bad signals.

Anonymous said...

The size thing and the economics are related. It's well known that thin people look good in anything. There are many aspiring thin in the First World - aspiring to wealth, that is, but doing ok on the scales. Zara clothes are shabby chic. The shabby part is really, deeply, bottom line enhancing; the chic part, well that's the alchemy we call fashion; here today, gone tomorrow.

By the way, Zara has menswear too. I visited once in my pre-Paleo stage. I found the gear tatty and, err, ill-fitting; and decided that only Saville Row (or at least those bespoke-while-you-wait Hong Kong guys) could do justice to such a vast proposition.

But I would consider visiting again now that I am Fabio-like. My bubble butt might just wriggle into a pair of pallid, crumpled, unlined, poorly stitched, chinos. But then again, life is short.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

We did a Zara case study at business school, the main strategy was nimble production that responded to customer tastes.

Hunsdon said...

Simon in London said: What a bastard.

Hunsdon said: Aye, but he's a Spanish bastard! (I'm entirely agreeing with your comment, just picked the last line to quote.)

anony-mouse said...

A problem in any one-person blog (ahem) is that you only get the perspective of people of one sex.

Since I suspect most of your commenters (including me) are of the male sex, guessing is all you can do in certain areas like fashion.

Now Steve if you went trans...

The Artist Latterly Known as.... said...

Hey, girl here. I haven't bought anything at Zara yet because I'm a streaky shopper. I splurge occasionally on carefully selected expensive clothes or buy el cheapo (carefully selected as well) but Zara stores are fun to browse in. Slim young women look good in their clothes & more important, feel good buying them. A Zara girl feels like she has bought a classy item for a moderate price.

Regarding Richard Cohen, here's a guy who is down to earth, generous, low-key and smart as hell. All his characteristics except the last are not Steve-o-sphere stereotypically Jewish. I don't expect Steve or his agents like Svigor to acknowledge this. Maybe there are many such Jews that Steve/Svigor don't bother to notice, but not so rich?

In my experience Jewish bosses reward talent & performance more lavishly than non-Jewish. Buffett is a completely stingy bastard. But you know those Jews: so money-oriented. Clever bastards, thinking that money is important to goyim.

Anonymous said...

"I could see getting rich in clothes if you could trademark, say, blue, and be the only guy allowed to sell blue clothes. Even I could make money doing that."

If Steve Sailer held the patent for blue, green would be huge.

Gilbert P

dearieme said...

It's time Tyler Cowen started asking economics questions like this instead of animadverting about Game of Thrones.

LemmusLemmus said...

Simon,

it should have been clear enough from the context of my post that "parasite strategy" could not possibly be a reference to the ethnicity of the workers or the price of the clothing. If my description is correct, then Zara profits from the fact that other stores invest heavily in advertising to create a luxury brand. By placing its stores in proximity to those brands' stores, Zara lives off the results of that advertising to an extent. Hence, parasite strategy.

peterike said...

So in essence, Zara puts paid to the notion that manufacturing "must" be done in third-world countries in order to compete and be profitable.

It's always been a gigantic lie, but it's nice to see it so clearly exposed.

Anonymous said...

Zara also controls multiple brands. Combine that with the nimble manufacturing and their, almost like a cartel in terms of "shelf space".

How successful would they be under one brand?

Anonymous said...

owning Facebook or DOS or most of the the telephone business in Mexico

Facebook: Blatantly stolen intellectual property rights portfolio of his Harvard classmates. [And then the thief had the audacity to break back into his classmates' servers to sabotaged their competing platform.]

DOS: 86-DOS essentially stolen from Paterson [vs CP/M stolen from Kildall], where the honest approach would have been to bring the operating system author onboard as a co-owner.

Telmex: Essentially stolen from the Mexican taxpayers for pennies on the dollar.

And you wonder how the modern world came to be dominated by psychopaths.

heartiste said...

That is it maintains a highly nimble supply chain that allows it to quickly stock whatever is currently in style.

but there are structural limits to the number of competitors that can follow a demand-pull strategy. someone's got to set the style tone, so someone's got to eat the marketing costs. zara, like H&M, is in effect a parasite on the creative and marketing depts of their competitors.

heartiste said...

Employing European workers - his own nation's workers - so he can respond quickly to demand - to make reasonably priced clothes that people want. Selling them in nice shops in nice locations.

hey, if someone's got to be parasitized (heh) it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people than the gay hothouses of the fashion industry.

btw, another reason zara does well is because most of their line (and last i checked they have a men's line as well) is slim fit, which means it flatters the bodies of wealthier SWPLs who don't have guts to hide.

Anonymous said...

Very responsive supply chain - Zara is always the textbook example.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you must have had a very sheltered life, where have you been hiding all these years?
As a male of the species you should or must know by now that women - young women especially spend an *enormous* amount of money on 'fashionable' clothing. It's probably the biggest business that there is - bigger than oil, telecoms and all the rest. When a young woman has a few extra dollars in her purse, she spends on it clothing, no generalisation could be truer. A young man, on the other hand would spend it on instant gratification, porn and the like or save it to buy that car, motorbike or stereo who always hankered for.
In short, the success of Zara is down to evolutionary biology - the overwhelming female instinct to arouse male attention, and since intoday's 'equalities' obsessed world, women have enormous spending power, (as an aside why do you think that today's TV is so chock-full of rubbishy soaps?). Howver, giving credit where credit is due, the Zara boss must be one astute businessman with very good command and control skills and business acumen.

Anonymous said...

You know why capitalists, democracy fanatics and globalists are all crazy in love about "women's rights"/feminists? Women make up 50% of the population, yet are the majority who drive consumerism and consumption up.

Consumption in most Western developed economies is estimated to be 70-85% Female. That's right. Women excessively support frivolous capitalism and consumerism.

Women are a collective herd in their psychology, and that's why most advertisement in the USA is geared towards women. Women are the prime global capitalists/consumers, and a collective herd.

Remember that whenever you see NATO, the World Bank, IMF and all other international multinational corporations and NGOs support "women's liberation" abroad.

It's all about the money that women in a collective herd give to lying, corrupt banksters. It's like a marriage made in hell. A 4-way polygamous marriage made in hell since it involves women + Big Banks + Big Law + Big Pharma.

The greatest winners in the scheme are the corrupt financers and banksters (BIG BANK), followed closely by legal entities such as judges, courts such as the law changing to accommodate "modern enlightened liberalism" in divorce, family law and employment discrimination (BIG LAW), and last but not least pharmaceuticals thanks to the excessive use of anti-depressives and birth control (BIG PHARMA).

The top corrupt banksters love feminism because it's capitalism's #1 best friend (more like the #1 sex slave), it keeps most other men down (like 80% of men lose in that scheme and only the powerful/rich can support "feminism" since they made off a fortune from it while sucking others bloodly dry).

@raybury said...

Zara creates artificial shortages by producing less than the market-clearing quantity. Thus they can charge more than the market-clearing price that tends toward merely covering costs.

The quick turnaround results from excess capacity, not all of it in-house. Shops on retainer with Zara may be required to give them time priority over other orders, but do they charge accordingly? Likely not; that is, Zara may externalize some of the cost of its quick turnaround ability.

Mike said...

I had never really thought about how truly impressive his wealth was considering the market segment. Literally anyone could throw capital at this market tomorrow - the only barrier to completely copying him is capital of which there is a huge supply these days. Yet no one does because they would have to be real businessmen to pull it off so it doesn't fit the rentier model.

Anonymous said...

I think Zara's particular genius is to focus on excellent quality relative to price, rather than the usual domestic-manufactured quality brand strategy of very high price supported by marketing.

Actually the quality of Zara's clothing is quite low, that is the physical, material quality of the clothing is quite low. That's how it makes money. It cuts costs not just on marketing but on the material quality of the clothing as well. In turn it puts out the latest styles and trends set by the major fashion designers and magazines very quickly, meeting the demand of people who want the latest looks at a low price and don't really care if the clothes are falling apart next year since by then it will cease to be the latest trend or style.

Anonymous said...

Zara makes men's clothes too. I like to shop there because their clothes fit men well who are tall and slim, unlike other stores which seem to build a gut into all of their shirts to fit the average American.

Anonymous said...

Employing European workers - his own nation's workers - so he can respond quickly to demand - to make reasonably priced clothes that people want. Selling them in nice shops in nice locations.

Zara also has factories in places like Morocco, China, Bangladesh, Brazil and Bolivia, where it's been alleged that they run sweatshops and use child labor.

Ichabod Crane said...

Mid-range-and-higher women's clothes are are superior (specifically Velban) goods. Unlike other Velban goods (e.g., Bentleys), clothing production and design cost is very low, especially if you are supplying a large-ish market. (Of course Boutique clothes are more extreme examples of Velban goods and thus that's where the prices reach the stratosphere, but Boutique items aren't in the sweet spot for generating maximum income because they are unscalable, almost by definition.)

Even though there is much competition between clothing brands, the nature of Velban goods means that the normal effect of competition driving down price does not apply. Basically everyone in the business who is generating a profit is getting rich. Clothing lines are are like celebrities that way. Incidentally, this explains why the women's fashion business appeals to celebrities. It's not only that celebrities are themselves a 'brand' of sorts, it's also that the women's clothing business is has probably the lowest correlation between hard work and income, and celebrities often develop a taste for that. It's sort of funny that rappers, the most macho of celebrities, are the most likely to open up fashion lines, even though doing so is sorta gay: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/10-rapper-owned-clothing-brands-news.3354.html .

The effortless coolness that rappers affect actually takes a lot of work, and they eventually yearn for the lazy lifestyle that they imitate. That's why young rappers are always retiring from music. If they end up looking more like Versace than Suge knight, that's a price they are willing to pay.

Marcelo Gilli said...

Yes, they were involved in labor practices issues, at least in Brazil. Hispanic illegals were being used as cheap workers, and when this came out Zara, which was one of the shops allegedly selling the merchandise, denied it knew about it (they outsourced manufacturing, or something like that). Protesters took the streets with signs saying "The Devil Wears Zara". For more information (in Portuguese)google Zara trabalho escravo.

Tryptophan77 said...

I buy Zara Men's clothes on the other side of the pond, they tend to be high end design and quality for moderate prices.

That's the key to their strategy, which is basically to invert the normal assumptions in the retail market.
-They produce clothes near to the target market, rather than outsource to China they insource to Bulgaria.
-Don't spend on Marketing, but achieve high value status through price and quality = dedicated customers. Another commenter notes "excellent quality relative to price" and here I am, a dedicated customer.
-Put your stores in high value locations despite not being pricey. People who like to go to expensive areas will buy Zara clothes and window shop elsewhere.

Zara is the Warren Buffet of clothing.


Tryptophan77 said...

They are the Warren Buffet of clothing.

They win dedicated customers through quality "excellent quality relative to price" says Simon, and here I am, a dedicated male customer, despite admin thinking they are a Women's store! They achieve this through high status positioning and quality without marketing, allowing lower price than other competitors.

They also produce in Bulgaria and Spain in factories that they own (in-sourcing)so that they can have quick lead-times and quality control.

It's a story of the good guys making money buy doing good, capitalism functioning as it should do with informed consumers! Like Simon says, what a Bastard.

Anonymous said...

But what's his secret?

A P/E ratio of nearly 30 to 1? I think that the stock market is still pouring money into any company that isn't shit.

It looks like the the Reverend Al is/was a bigger piece of shit than we though.

Lugash said...

But what's his secret?

A P/E ratio of nearly 30 to 1? I think that the stock market is still pouring money into any company that isn't shit.

It looks like the the Reverend Al is/was a bigger piece of shit than we though.

stari_momak said...

Zara stores are really nice. The women that shop in them are even nicer.

As for Ortega's advantage...I'm blue skying here, and not gonna look it up. But could it be he is a heterosexual man in a business dominated by women and homosexual men.

Anonymous said...

Seymour Hersh's latest: the Ghouta chemical weapons attack last year was a false flag operation sponsored by Turkey and carried out by Islamist rebels.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/04/06/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

Steve - would love to get your take on this.

Ali said...

Zara sells men's clothing too though you need to be a heroin addict to fit them.

Anonymous said...

"Amancio Ortega is most similar to Sam Walton in this regard. The basis for his fortune is being a supply chain genius."

Spot on. Supply chain management (logistics) has been been a huge trend since the 1980's. Looking at the front end (manufacturing) or the product is the most obvious place to look for profitable innovation.

Amazon and Dell have some similarities, although people tended to focus on the minimal level of working capital used in those business. At least for Amazon in the beginning.

It is possible to have an inverse situation. No print media people are still ultra wealthy. Yet no one has really made that much putting a stake through their heart (except Google). Print media used to be a huge cash cow. Same with something like containerized cargo. Maybe it made China richer.

Les Wexner made a few billion from building stores for US malls. Now that I think of it, I can see making a few billion, but not $60 on something like this. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

No Thustra?

Anonymous said...

OK..... This guy didn't get this rich in retail. At least not on this store.

$60 billion divided by the number of stores 1,558 is $39 million per store.

The cost per store is $34,000 !!!!! That is 1,000 times the cost of a new store. It is possible someone missed a decimal place or two somewhere (including me)

(all numbers from HBS case study)

Another factoid from the HBS study is that they use
DOS as their point of sale operation system.

Seems like the guy also owns the supplier, Inditex -- which also supplies H&M.

Plus he owns skyscrapers in major cities.

I dunno. A retail store chain couldn't make $60 billion in profits even IF they owned the color blue.

Also, the HBS case study has some typos and looks like it was written by someone for whom English is a second language (bunch of money?) -- not that it invalidates anything, but it does increase the chances of other typos.

But, the guy owns a huge chunk of Inditex with a market cap of over $80 billion.

The Company is a parent of Grupo Inditex, a group which comprises a number of controlled entities that, as of January 31, 2012, had operations established in over than 80 countries located worldwide.

So, yea. But it is more than Zara.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, so much manufacturing has gone to China, it has opened up a huge gap in the market. Manufacturing in China means you save a lot on manufacture, but a response time of months at least.

Manufacture locally, you spend more on manufacture, but can respond in days not months. You can also fix quality control problems far faste


This is textiles we're talking about here. Not really "manufacturing". Hard manufacturing is what's important.

Anonymous said...

It's a story of the good guys making money buy doing good, capitalism functioning as it should do with informed consumers! Like Simon says, what a Bastard.

"Doing good?" "Informed consumers?" Their business is based on catering to the fickle desires of women who are manipulated by the fashion-media-entertainment complex to have the latest outfits every other month.

Anonymous said...

Forget the color blue. Zara couldn't generate that kind of money if it had the global franchise for Heroin.

"Getting opiates from producer to consumers worldwide is a well-organized and, most importantly, profitable activity. The most lucrative of illicit opiates, heroin, presently commands an estimated annual market value of US$55 billion. When all opiates are considered, the number may reach up to US$65 billion."

Assuming that Heroin has some wholesale cost.

I would definitely invest in the global Heroin franchise, if one existed. You could cross sell other drugs. Meth, etc. Speedballs. I'll admit it ... I wanna break bad.

Anonymous said...

Here's a HBS Case Study on Zara

http://www.slideshare.net/koffman/zara-case-study-2780928
Straight from the HBS study: "The success of Zara is based on two principals..." That's what passes for H graduate education today, eh?

Zara is simply "fast fashion" with upscale aspirations. Most fast fashion products are extremely poor in fabric and workmanship (e.g. H&M). They just copy the styles. Zara's niche is being the upmarket fast fashion retailer. In a world of increasingly polarized market (extremely expensive/custom/bespoke on the one hand and cheaply made junk on the other), Zara is unusual in making gobs of money off the much neglected middle of the market.

By the way, America's own fast fashion retailer, Forever 21 (founded by Korean immigrants), did much of its manufacturing in the States until it ran into labor issues. Since then it has relocated substantial portions of its manufacturing to Asia, but still keeps some assembly in CA.

Forever 21 also ran into some trouble with intellectual property theft issues, but usually settles. Like the founders of Facebook, once you have money, it's easy to pay off those you robbed, I mean, to whom you paid intellectual homage.

The founders are Christians (!) and apparently this, along with labor practices, seem to raise the ire of the Left. There is seemingly a minor "boycott Forever 21" movement.

Anonymous said...

In my experience Jewish bosses reward talent & performance more lavishly than non-Jewish.

Is that why all those Jewish administrators at elite universities pluck mediocre Jewish kids for acceptance while making higher performing Asians and WASPy (and Catholic white) gentiles, especially rural ones, fight for the scraps? Because they reward talent and performance over ethnic, religious and cultural kinship?

It's telling that you are a self-described "girl" who is seemingly well-treated by Jewish bosses. Are these bosses (older) men? Are you also well-treated by older Jewish female bosses?

Anonymous said...

OT, Women earn less than men even in woman-dominated jobs

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/04/07/women-earn-less-than-men-even-in-woman-dominated-jobs/

Anonymous said...

OT, Jeb Bush: Many illegal immigrants come out of an ‘act of love’

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-many-illegal-immigrants-come-out-of-an-act-of-love/

Have the republicans smartened up and hired democrat strategists?

Anonymous said...

"Doing good?" "Informed consumers?" Their business is based on catering to the fickle desires of women who are manipulated by the fashion-media-entertainment complex to have the latest outfits every other month."

Beautiful women in beautiful clothes? If that isn't something joyous worth working & living for, what is? Oh, some puritanical Cotton Mather BS...

Anonymous said...

"puritanical Cotton Mather BS"

"Cotton Mather" - what a great brand idea. Simple, minimalist stuff - doing for clothes what the Shakers did for furniture.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful women in beautiful clothes? If that isn't something joyous worth working & living for, what is? Oh, some puritanical Cotton Mather BS...

There's nothing beautiful about the fickle desires of women being manipulated by a vast fashion-media-entertainment-retail complex. It's grotesque.

Anonymous said...

It's all about the money that women in a collective herd give to lying, corrupt banksters. It's like a marriage made in hell. A 4-way polygamous marriage made in hell since it involves women + Big Banks + Big Law + Big Pharma.

GBFM???

Anonymous said...

"This is textiles we're talking about here. Not really "manufacturing". Hard manufacturing is what's important."

Why? Not being querulous, just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Do Italians call politically correct intellectuals 'cognoscenti dissonenti'?

Anonymous said...

There's staggering amounts of money in women's clothing. And women's shoes. And cosmetics.

According to Forbes the cosmetics industry alone is worth 230 billion dollars a year worldwide.

By comparison, mighty Microsoft has yearly worldwide revenues of 78 billion dollars. Ford Motor Company? 147 billion.

With this much money up for grabs you don't have to corner the market to get really, really rich.

Anonymous said...

Why? Not being querulous, just wondering.

Textiles manufacturing is very low end, unskilled, low value added. That's why it's always been associated with young female and child labor usage and scandals. The notion of "sweatshops" generally refers to textiles manufacturing. You can cram a bunch of 10 year olds into a textiles plant and churn out shirts that are as good as any other. You can't do that in a chemical plant or a car factory without blowing up the plant or producing junk that won't sell.

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-many-illegal-immigrants-come-out-of-an-act-of-love/

I can be just as loving.

Deport all the illegals so that they can be back home with their families. Not out of hate, do it out of love!

Anonymous said...

"Consumption in most Western developed economies is estimated to be 70-85% Female. That's right. Women excessively support frivolous capitalism and consumerism."

Might be part of the reason China is having problems stimulating domestic consumption. Very low proportion of young women to young men.

peterike said...

Textiles manufacturing is very low end, unskilled, low value added.

Which is precisely why it's important and useful. If we re-patriated all textile manufacturing, we could have a lot more decent, if boring, jobs for the ocean of unskilled labor in America. Exporting your low skill jobs is a dandy idea if your nation is like Lake Woebegone and everyone is above average. When your nation is a dumping ground for the cognitively challenged, then you need all the low skill manufacturing you can get your hands on.

And seriously, when a 3 pack of white Calvin Klein t-shirts sells for $37.50, I think there might just be a bit of profit margin in there that could be given up while still allowing Calvin to keep living the high life.

Anonymous said...

Which is precisely why it's important and useful. If we re-patriated all textile manufacturing, we could have a lot more decent, if boring, jobs for the ocean of unskilled labor in America.

Except our "unskilled labor" is also expensive. Just because a handful of firms can rake in billions by hitting neglected niches does not mean the same strategy can be replicated and scaled up to restore an entire industry.

Who's going to pay double or triple for Gap quality/style?

Everyone's for locally sourced artisanal goods until it's time to pay. Then only the moneyed BoBos with illusions of "doing good" by spending money make such purchases.

David Davenport said...

I am seriously bemused by all the iSteve posters who have something to say about Zara's clothing. I don't know anything about Zara's clothes, at least those for women.

And some of the the Zara's commenters must be women. At times I have had the impression that all iSteve fans are male.

////////////

Zara makes men's clothes too. I like to shop there because their clothes fit men well who are tall and slim, unlike other stores which seem to build a gut into all of their shirts to fit the average American.

The average white or black American man is probably taller than you are. Maybe both taller and slimmer.

their clothes fit men well

Translation: their suit jackets are tight enough to snugly fit scrawny metrosexuals such as aging rocker star David Bowie.

Tight suit jackets --> the sophisticated Yurpeeun fit.

Anonymous said...

"There's nothing beautiful about the fickle desires of women being manipulated by a vast fashion-media-entertainment-retail complex. It's grotesque."

I think it is ok, charming, really, to see women as the irresistible children they are. The fashion complex is so far down the list of real ills in the world.

The real damage comes when you give women the vote, not a few extra dollars for some glad rags.

Anonymous said...

Translation: their suit jackets are tight enough to snugly fit scrawny metrosexuals such as aging rocker star David Bowie.

Real metrosexuals are muscular, not scrawny.

Anonymous said...

The real damage comes when you give women the vote, not a few extra dollars for some glad rags.

The real damage came when the crusaders driven the faithful away from Vienna in 1683.

Cail Corishev said...

Deport all the illegals so that they can be back home with their families. Not out of hate, do it out of love!

Exactly. The saddest thing about the immigration debate is that the restrictionist argument would be such an easy win if we just had a party that wanted to use it. Every single time someone raises the "breaking up families" claim, just say, "Yes, we must stop allowing lax enforcement and corrupt employers to break up families. My border security bill includes strong provisions for making sure all families which have been torn apart by migration are reunited in their native homes. This tragedy of parents being torn away from their children to increase corporate profits must end."

How hard is that?

Cail Corishev said...

I don't know anything about Zara's clothes, at least those for women.

I thought it had something to do with Sean Connery in a Speedo holding a gun.

Anonymous said...

In my experience Jewish bosses reward talent & performance more lavishly than non-Jewish.

Ron Unz's number crunching about elite university admissions seem to contradict your experience.

Jewish administrators of such elite organs seem to prefer mediocre ethno-religious kin of their own over talented and high performing gentile whites and East Asians to be future leaders of the rest of us 98% non-Jews.

Svigor said...

Regarding Richard Cohen, here's a guy who is down to earth, generous, low-key and smart as hell. All his characteristics except the last are not Steve-o-sphere stereotypically Jewish. I don't expect Steve or his agents like Svigor to acknowledge this. Maybe there are many such Jews that Steve/Svigor don't bother to notice, but not so rich?

In my experience Jewish bosses reward talent & performance more lavishly than non-Jewish. Buffett is a completely stingy bastard. But you know those Jews: so money-oriented. Clever bastards, thinking that money is important to goyim.


I'm Steve's "agent" now? Where's my check? Oh, and my iSteve Global Conspiracy Membership card?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. The idea that I'm Steve's "agent" struck me funny. 100% of the communication between Steve and I goes on in the comments.

I don't know who Richard Cohen is. Sorry if that reflects inattentiveness on my part.

I admit to not making a priority of pointing out when Jews break with stereotype (though I do make an effort to acknowledge those who I consider to be key Righteous Jews, e.g., Phillp Weiss). I figure Team Hasbara's on the job and nobody's going to do a better spin job than they; I find criticism of Jews to be the woefully undermanned parapet.

As for the niggardly Jews, I know you didn't explicitly point any fingers in this direction, but I'd like to point out that I don't think anyone can find a single comment by me anywhere on the 'net about Jewish stinginess. I find it to be a myth. From what I gather, Jews tend to be very intentional with their money, but not stingy. It's the "freier culture" thing, I think; they don't want to be the one stuck with the check unless that's what they intended to do beforehand. They don't want to be suckers. They come from a mercantile culture. They'd rather sell than buy. And they're very confrontational, argumentative, etc., so they haggle for fun.

Jews are the type who will nickle and dime you over the dinner check one day, then give a nephew a hundred grand to start a business the next. They see money as power, not something to spend on stuff. They do tend to be "money-oriented," though.

If you want to know where I'm coming from, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to read too much into my comments when it comes to motives (mine, and those you think I may be attributing to Jews). One of the biggest problems I have with Jews is nobody's willing to get up in their faces and criticize them. I realize they're pretty much immune to criticism, but I think the process will be instructive to others, at least. I think we need to get it on the record.

David Davenport said...

How's this for a spohisticated fashion accoutremont?

TN State Senate votes for open gun carry without permit

The Associated Press, WBIR 2:53 p.m. EDT April 8, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state Senate has passed a bill to allow Tennesseans to openly carry guns without a state-issued permit.

The chamber voted 25-2 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet.

Beavers said the measure would keep the background checks and training requirements in order to carry concealed firearms, but would allow anyone legally allowed to own a gun to carry it openly.
...



Just the thing for sophisticated EurOpeans.

Anonymous said...

The latest fashion trend is "normcore" i.e. normal clothing:

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/02/normcore-fashion-trend.html

"

Sometime last summer I realized that, from behind, I could no longer tell if my fellow Soho pedestrians were art kids or middle-aged, middle-American tourists. Clad in stonewash jeans, fleece, and comfortable sneakers, both types looked like they might’ve just stepped off an R-train after shopping in Times Square. When I texted my friend Brad (an artist whose summer uniform consisted of Adidas barefoot trainers, mesh shorts and plain cotton tees) for his take on the latest urban camouflage, I got an immediate reply: “lol normcore.”

Normcore—it was funny, but it also effectively captured the self-aware, stylized blandness I’d been noticing. Brad’s source for the term was the trend forecasting collective (and fellow artists) K-Hole. They had been using it in a slightly different sense, not to describe a particular look but a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.” In fashion, though, this manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes. The kind of dad-brand non-style you might have once associated with Jerry Seinfeld, but transposed on a Cooper Union student with William Gibson glasses."